Larissa Sansour (b. 1973)
Run Lara Run (2008)
From Resistance(s): Experimental Films from the Middle East and North Africa

Dressed as a kind of super hero in all black and a red helmet, Larissa Sansour films herself running around Palestine. Visiting ancient ruins and the Wall which divides Israel from the West Bank, Sansour appears to be looking for something. She is determined and acts as if she is on some sort of mission. She runs to different gates and shakes them and the viewer realizes that perhaps she is searching for a way out. Like a mouse trapped in a maze, Sansour runs from hilltop to blockade to wall to gate in the West Bank emphasizing the entrapped feelings of many Palestinians living there. There is a kind of video game like music in the background that plays as if Sansour is the player which cannot seem to win. Though the artist claims on her website that the video deals with displaced identities and cultural hybridity, that is not readily apparent in the video. Though Sansour could be considered searching for her identity in the land, her shaking of gates and running to physical barriers do not seem to emphasize this point. Instead overtones of the political consequences of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict seem to be most obvious as the character “Lara” cannot physically go anywhere because of the barriers in her way.